516 October Council, Star Chamber, and Privy Council under the Tudors II. THE STAB CHAMBER IN the last number of this Review an attempt was made to indicate the nature of the king's council in Tudor times before its clear differentiation into privy council and council in the star chamber. We have now to continue the history of the parent stem and to discuss the personnel, organization, and functions of the council in the star chamber. The delimitation of the two councils, which had a common origin and continued to have much that was common in personnel and in function, is, however, so difficult that it is advisable to begin with the simplest elements in the problem and to point out that primarily the phrase star chamber indicates neither a council nor a court, but simply a building. Chamber itself is misleading ; for while we now talk about a house containing several chambers, it was possible in the sixteenth century to talk about a chamber containing several houses, and the star chamber was a three-story building with at least three rooms and a kitchen in it before the end of the Tudor period. 1 There was the large room generally indicated by the words star chamber when used alone ; there was the inner- star chamber ; and there was a third room on the east side over- looking the river, in which suitors could wait and distinguished visitors like Henrietta Maria could watch the course of proceed- ings. 2 When the council sat as the court of star chamber it 1 See the views in J. T. Smith's Antiquities of Westminster (1807) reproduced in Hawarde's Star Chamber Cases, ed. Baildon (1894). 2 Hawarde, p. 39 : ' It was also ordered by the Lord Keeper that the empty room at the east side of the court of late enclosed with a door shall be reserved for men of good account in the country and for gentlemen towards the law, and shall not be plagued with base fellows and women or other suitors, as it has been ' (13 February 1595/6) ; and ibid. p. 250 (20 November 1605), ' The plaintiff objected against this order two otherorders(one taken in the Inner Star Chamber and the other at the Lord Chancellor's house) which countermanded that order. But the Lord Chancellor disallowed them, and said to the practisers that they pick their clients' purses by these house and chamber orders ; " for " said he " you are all honest gentlemen, but I believe never a word you say when you move me at my house or in the chamber " ; and as it was said by the Attorney-General, " I find," said he, " that God doth assist the judge
Page:English Historical Review Volume 37.djvu/524
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